Meb Byrne

Archive for the ‘portuguese’ Category


In food, photo op, portuguese, recommended, restaurant on February 13, 2010 at 1:55 pm

The stage is set.

The meal:

The Chef’s Tasting Menu at Aldea

The stats:

“The cooking is precious, lusty, ultramodern, rustic and a host of other adjectives that don’t normally squeeze together but find themselves in a tight, mostly happy clutch here. Although Aldea has a clean, sleek and relatively spare look, it has a much more complex taste. One minute you’re nibbling on crisp pig’s ears. The next you’re carefully maneuvering your spoon under a translucent, quivering orb of concentrated mushroom broth — one of those liquid ravioli that the Spanish alchemist Ferran Adrià made famous — in an avant-garde consommé.” –Frank Bruni

2 stars, NY Times

Critics’ Pick, New York Magazine

Recommended by Doc John Sconzo, physician & foodie

Staging restaurant of Rochelle Bilow, culinary student

The food:

Fingerling Potato Soup

chanterelles, artichokes, sepia and sassafras

Foie Gras Terrine

caramelized bartlett pear, vanilla-pear puree, Blis maple syrup

Sea Urchin Toast

cauliflower cream, sea lettuce, lime

Shrimp Alhinho

garlic, coriander, pimenton, pressed jus


crispy Brussels sprouts, green mango, lemongrass-ginger broth

Arroz de Pato

duck confit, chorizo, olive, duck cracklings

Pre-dessert surprise!

lemon curd, citrus ice, toasted pine nuts, milk foam


gianduja crisp, passion fruit sponge, praline ice cream, hazelnut

Post-dessert surprise!

shortbread, chocolate & hazelnut, apricot jelly

The verdict:

I’ve had richer meals, and longer, but never better paced, more artfully prepared or more attentively served than at Aldea.

I left the restaurant not weighted down by my gorged stomach, but on an ethereal foodie high.